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Hog futures hit by profit taking, drop in pork

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were mostly lower and feeders were down on spread trade and profit taking, with feeders seeing additional pressure from the higher corn. December live was up $.02 at $137.67 and February was down $.632 at $138.95. January feeders were $1.65 lower at $164.12 and March was down $1.22 at $167.10.

Direct cash cattle markets were quiet. Thursday’s business was moderate, mainly at $142 on the live basis and $220 dressed, both $3 higher than the previous week’s activity. It looks like most of the activity was over for the week by Friday, but some reports of clean-up activity are still possible. Asking prices for what’s left on the show list were $143+ live and $222+ dressed, with bids at $140 live in Nebraska.

For the week in Oklahoma, compared to the previous week’s light test, feeder steers and heifers were mostly steady, while steer and heifer calves were mostly $4 to $8 higher. The USDA says demand was very good for all classes, including for lighter weight calves, even with dry conditions in much of the state. Receipts were up on the week and the year. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers weighing 600 to 700 pounds sold at $145 to $177 and 700 to 800-pound steers ranged from $135 to $173.10. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers weighing 500 to 600 pounds brought $135 to $170 and 600 to 700-pound heifers were reported at $125 to $158.

Boxed beef closed higher with good movement. Choice was up $2.34 at $274.36 and Select was $.39 higher at $258.64. The estimated cattle slaughter of 119,000 head was steady on the week and up 1,000 on the year.

In Missouri, the USDA says hay prices were mostly steady with light to moderate demand for a moderate supply. Movement is seasonally low, with a few local sales and some horse and dairy business. Medium squares of supreme alfalfa sold at $200 to $250, with premium at $160 to $200 and large rounds of good quality alfalfa brought $120 to $160. Large rounds of good to premium mixed grass ranged from $80 to $140 with fair to good at $60 to $100.

In Nebraska, compared to two weeks ago, comparable trades of baled hay in central, eastern, and western Nebraska were steady to weak and delivered hay was steady. The USDA says demand was moderate to good across the state. For central Nebraska, large rounds of fair to good quality alfalfa were pegged at $120, with large rounds of corn stalks at $60 and large rounds of Sudan grass at $85. In eastern parts of the state, large rounds of good to premium alfalfa and grass mix brought $140 with good to premium quality grass at $120 to $140. For western areas, large rounds of supreme and premium alfalfa were both reported at $225 with good quality at $200 and ground alfalfa at $225. In the Platte Valley, large rounds of good quality alfalfa brought $185, with large rounds of cane at $110 and ground corn stalk at $100.

Lean hog futures were pressured by profit taking and the lower midday move in pork. December was down $.40 at $74 and February was $.50 lower at $81.50.

Cash hogs were sharply higher with solid negotiated sales to finish out the week. Buyers continued their efforts to move as many of the available needed numbers as possible. There have been some wide swings in the wholesale market recently, but overall, domestic and export demand are expected to stay relatively solid into the new year. Those market ready numbers have shown some signs of tightening, but for now, remain ample.

National direct barrows and gilts closed $3.93 higher with a base price range from $53.50 to $66 and a weighted average of $61.80, while Iowa/Southern Minnesota averaged $64.50 and the Western Corn Belt had an average of $64.45. The butcher hog markets in Dorchester, Wisconsin and Garnavillo, Iowa were closed Friday.

The pork carcass cutout value closed $6.72 lower at $81.37. Ribs were lower, while loins, hams, and bellies were down sharply. That canceled out decent gains in butts and picnics. The estimated hog slaughter of 479,000 head was up 9,000 on the week, but down 12,000 on the year.

The USDA says early weaned pigs were $1 higher and all feeder pigs were up $2 on moderate demand for moderate offerings. For early weaned pigs on the cash composite basis, the range was $42 to $61 with an average of $56.40, while on the formula composite, the range was $39.75 to $61.79 for an average of $49.66. The cash composite range for feeder pigs was $67 to $78 with an average of $73.83.

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